The Oregon Ducks somehow lost a football game that they had no business losing to the Stanford Cardinal. They lost a game where their quarterback, Justin Herbert, completed 25 of 27 passes in regulation. They lost a game where they had 1st and goal from the 1-yard line, already up 24-7, in the middle of the third quarter. They lost a game where they snapped the ball on second down with one minute remaining, and Stanford having only one timeout.
Here’s that fumble by freshman running back C.J. Verdell, trying to extend for another first down.
But it’s fair to question whether that should have even fallen to Verdell at that point to put him in that situation where he’s trying to stretch for the line to gain. Oregon couldn’t have run out the clock by kneeling, but they could have taken it under 15 seconds before having to execute a 4th down play. That would have put Stanford in a situation where they would need a Michigan State vs. Michigan miracle punt block return, or have to go the length of the field in one desperation play.
Of course, that wasn’t the only big play in an epic meltdown. Oregon also fumbled after having 1st and goal and a chance to go up 31-7, when the shotgun snap went over Herbert’s head and was returned all the way for a touchdown to keep Stanford in it.